It is generally recommended that breastfeeding mothers take a prenatal vitamin such as Citranatal. Nursing is a time of increased nutritional need, and infants who are exclusively breastfed also need the vitamins and minerals that are passed through breast milk. If you are taking Citranatal while nursing, you should avoid taking any additional vitamins (unless your healthcare provider recommends it).
For infants who are exclusively breastfed, breast milk is the only dietary source of important vitamins and minerals. Additionally, a woman's body is often nutritionally "stressed" from meeting the high demands of pregnancy (as well as breastfeeding). For these reasons, it is often recommended that women take a prenatal vitamin while breastfeeding, as this is a time of increased nutritional need.
Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to take too much of any particular vitamin or mineral, so you should not take any additional vitamins and minerals unless you have your healthcare provider's approval.
There is one exception to this suggestion -- prenatal vitamins (including Citranatal products) usually do not contain enough calcium for most women. Calcium is a bulky mineral, and it is difficult (usually impossible) to fit enough calcium into a single tablet along with all the other ingredients in prenatal vitamins.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding while taking Citranatal. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision that is right for you.
In general, this supplement is considered to be safe (and actually beneficial) for breastfeeding women and their infants.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Citranatal DHA [package insert]. San Antonio, TX: Mission Pharmacal; 2009 February.
Citranatal 90 DHA [package insert]. San Antonio, TX: Mission Pharmacal; 2009 January.
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